At 11:20 p.m. Dec. 6, Dennis Davis, 45, allegedly broke into the Fresh Twin Fruit Store at 66-06 99th St., through a side door, according to Lt. Joseph Davids of the 112th Precinct. After allegedly stealing $62 in cash and some cartons of cigarettes, he also managed to break open a water pipe, which sent water gushing onto the floor's store, Davids said.
Davis was later charged with burglary and possession of stolen property, the officer said.
Arresting officers George Cahill, Robert Buckward and Patrick Murphy found Davis at the corner of 64th Avenue and Queens Boulevard, said Davids. The box Davis carried contained items marked with the name of the store, the lieutenant said. He was also soaking wet.
"It's a good thing we picked him up," said Davids. "The guy probably would have frozen to death."
Despite the comic aspects of the burglary, police were treating the crime with the utmost sobriety due to a rash of similar burglaries in the area. During the past two weeks the precinct saw a significant spike in commercial burglaries in the 63rd Drive area near Union Turnpike and the Long Island Expressway. A total of 15 commercial and residential burglaries had been reported in one week alone, and Davids said Davis, given the similarity of the crimes, was a prime suspect in the commercial hits.
The police believe the intruder tried commercial entrances in search of a place to sleep. Once inside, the burglar helped himself to whatever goods or cash was available, said Davids. Neighboring stores were also burgled as the intruder burrowed, molelike, through interior walls from one site to another.
Beginning in 1986, Davis had been arrested about a dozen times for a variety of burglary and trespass charges, according to state parole officials. Among his prior convictions was a 1993 arrest for trespassing when he forced his way into a residential home through the basement door.
In an effort to connect Davis with the rash of break-ins, officers are currently comparing his fingerprints with those taken at the other scenes.
"We're waiting on that now," said Capt. John Lavelle of the 112th Precinct.
©2000 Community News Group
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